New row over airwaves

Diane Herring, chairman of Wrightington Hospital Radio in the studio with Bill Hart

Diane Herring, chairman of Wrightington Hospital Radio in the studio with Bill Hart

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HOSPITAL radio volunteers have spoken out about the temporary axing of programmes.

They deny claims by Wigan health chiefs that there was “mutual agreement” over Wrightington Hospital’s service coming off air during its 40th anniversary year, because its current home is no longer deemed fit for purpose.

Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust has previously said that it and the radio staff had agreed it should close for now. But Diane Herring, chairman of the Wrightington Radio, insists that they were instructed to cease broadcasting to both Wrightington and Wigan’s hospitals

She added: “We were told, in no uncertain terms, that we had to shut down and was given two months notice to leave. I agree that the premises could be better but I didn’t want us to close. The trust has offered us a place at the entrance hall and we are well on our way to raising the funds for the move but we don’t usually carry such a large amount of money. I am looking forward to the radio re-opening and are just awaiting confirmation from the board.”

The estimated cost of the new site is £20,000.

A trust spokeman said: “We would like to emphasise it was never the intention to permanently close Hospital Radio Wrightington. The completion of a report, undertaken by the trust health and safety adviser, led us to the decision to temporarily close the service. This decision was taken, with the full involvement of the Chairman of Hospital Radio Wrightington, based on the conclusion that the current location was not fit for purpose.”

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